Facing the “Stealth Omicron” Sub-variant’s Dominance Head-OnInsights
March 31, 2022
No New Surges Means Good Preventive Care
Despite its pervasiveness and spikes in Asia and Europe, the Covid-19 Omicron BA.2—dubbed the Stealth Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO)—has appeared to have lost its choke-hold on the U.S. “It’s stealthy no more,“ Carl Zimmer remarks in his New York Times piece.
Omicron BA.2 has lost its mystery and has become common regardless of its unique mutations. “Many epidemiologists suspect that it may reverse the decline of cases in the United States, but doubt that it will cause a large new spike,” Zimmer says. Compared to Omicron BA.1, while BA.2 is more contagious, it is less fatal of the two variants.
Meanwhile, health officials attest that vaccinated individuals often exhibit moderate symptoms and are usually asymptomatic. According to a recent WBAL TV news report, people who have not yet taken the vaccine are the ones who have higher susceptibility and hospitalization rates. Because BA.2 has eight mutations (making it highly transmissible), it ironically also causes a form of immunity in some people. Better recovery rates can be expected, especially from those who have taken booster shots and those who have already had Covid-19 in previous months.
While symptoms for BA.2 do echo symptoms of the Delta and BA.1 variants (chills/fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle soreness, loss of smell/taste, congestion, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, headache), some scientists indicate that BA.2 is primarily concentrated in the upper respiratory area. Dr. Gregory Huhn, an infectious disease specialist, says: “I don’t know if we, right now, know the particular features that are distinct for BA.2 versus BA.1. I mean, for BA.1, we knew that it was mostly an upper respiratory-type infection rather than the lower respiratory infections that can lead toward pneumonia and further and greater complications.”
Nonetheless, suggested Covid-19 preventive measures the CDC put in place works at inhibiting the spread of BA.2 throughout the country. We must remain vigilant wherever necessary—social distancing, wearing masks, self-quarantining, regular testing has to become our new normal. With INDICAID OTC now available at retail stores, a premium testing product is at our disposal to hold the virus at bay.